We must demonstrate that old industrial cities also have a future
01. 06. 2016.
In Dunaújváros, where he signed an agreement with Mayor Gábor Cserna as part of the Modern Cities Programme, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that we must demonstrate that traditional industrial cities are not a thing of the past, but that they have a future, and therefore the issue of Dunaújváros is “a point of honour”.

At the press conference held after the signing ceremony, Mr. Orbán highlighted that a city cannot be developed without the assistance of the Government. Developments of a certain magnitude simply cannot be implemented without the Government, and this is not a party issue. The goal is to turn Dunaújváros into a modern industrial city, he added.

Fotó: Árvai Károly
Photo: Károly Árvai

The Prime Minister said that it will be hard to reach a level of modernity, because “a new industrial revolution is taking place, and everything that we now tend to think about the modern economy and modern industry is changing”. In his opinion, digitalisation will completely reshape all production activities.

He pointed out that if Dunaújváros and Hungarian industry fail to join the ongoing industrial revolution, they will not be able to grow, and will lose even their existing markets.

Mr. Orbán first announced the development of a cargo hub among the projects laid down in the agreement. For the purposes of this development, the state will provide an area of 500 hectares in the area of the settlement. The hub will be built in cooperation with the City, and will be operated by the municipality.

Dunaújváros University will receive funds for developments which are needed to create the facilities for research and education in electromobility, and as a result the institution will also be able to train specialists in this field. On Friday the Government will approve its national bus strategy, and as part of this the city’s entire bus fleet will be replaced with battery-powered electric vehicles.

The Prime Minister said that soon the main problem of Dunaújváros will be a shortage of labour, and it is therefore important to connect the region to the city. In order to maintain the existing road network, he told the press, a budget of four billion forints will be allocated to upgrading the roads leading to Nagyvenyim, Sárbogárd and Mezőfalva, followed by the roads towards Cece, Németkér and Paks.

Around one billion forints will be allocated to the site of the former medical centre building. As a result of the project, the building will either be converted to accommodate state institutions, or be demolished to make way for a new building. The state will purchase the long-redundant former swimming baths from the bank which owns the building; together with the nearby Fabó Éva swimming complex it will be refurbished from a budget of three billion forints.

Fotó: Árvai Károly
Photo: Károly Árvai

Mr. Orbán said that the Government will allocate some 900 million forints for the improvement of the quality of water on Szalki Island and, as part of the water infrastructure upgrading programme, 1.2 billion forints will be made available for the construction of a new radial well. The bus station in Béke tér will be relocated to the railway station, and as a result a modern transport hub will be created at a cost of three billion forints.

One hundred million forints will be allocated for the rehabilitation of the city botanic garden and the construction of a visitor centre, and the state will provide funding of 380 million forints for the construction of an adventure park and leisure centre on the premises of the former amusement park. As there is no hotel in the city, following relocation of the museum a hotel will be built on the site from funding of 2.9 billion forints.

The Prime Minister announced that the construction of the Dunaújváros Handball Academy’s sports hall is featured in a separate line of the 2017 central budget. A sum of two billion forints has been allocated to a hall with a capacity of 1,800. The Radar sports facility will also be refurbished; after implementation of the 700 million-forint project, wrestlers and young athletes from several other disciplines will be able to prepare here for tournaments in civilised conditions, Mr. Orbán added.

Fotó: Árvai Károly
Photo: Károly Árvai

In answer to a journalist’s question, Mr. Orbán said that there is an ambitious plan for the construction of the M8 motorway, but at this point in time the necessary funds are not available. He said that Dunaújváros must be connected to Kecskemét by a dual carriageway. There will be no EU funds available for this project, however, but Hungarian funds can be made available for the first stages in the 2018 budget, at the earliest.

In response to a question on sports developments, the Prime Minister pointed out that there will be a need for a shooting range, a fencing centre and an equestrian facility in every region, because “the pentathlon forms an integral part of Hungarian culture”.

Mr. Cserna said that the last few years have shown that cooperation with the city’s residents can place Dunaújváros on a successful growth path, and the motto of those working for the city continues to be: “The city before us, the Government behind us”. This is a guarantee of the development of the city. The Mayor said that, with the signing of the agreement, the Government has given the city a major chance to take a step forward.